Family Friendly Brno – part 2
Autumn is my favourite time of year in Brno, when the cooler weather means I can enjoy activities with the kids without also losing about half my body weight in sweat. I’ve lived here for almost a decade now, and I’ve never fully adjusted to the warmer climate. It’s the time of year when I publicly lament the passing of the hot summer weather, while being privately relieved about slipping back into my comfy jeans and a jumper. Photo credit: @BrnoDaily. // For illustration purposes only.
Brno, Oct 13 (BD) – We like taking the kids out for walks in the nature during this time, when it’s especially beautiful with the leaves changing and cool blue skies. Our eldest, Gracie, loves hunting for “treasure” during these jaunts – conkers, interesting fallen leaves, nuts etc. Two of our favourite places to take them are Mariánské údolí and Obora Holedná.
It’s a little bit of a ride by tram and bus to get there, but it’s definitely worth the visit. Many kilometers of footpaths loop around the valley’s three serene lakes, and criss cross the surrounding hills. It’s a gorgeous place for a stroll any time of the year, but especially lovely when the leaves change in the autumn. The valley is overlooked by the forlorn remains of a vast ampitheater, built to accommodate 200,000 spectators. It was constructed during the early Communist era, and has now been left for nature to reclaim it.
There’s some wildlife if you’re into that kind of thing, a new toboggan ride, and several pubs along the way. The best place for kids is El Dorado, which has bouncy castles, vehicles to ride around on, a play area and some goats and donkeys to pet – plenty to keep them occupied while you replenish your energy with some well-earned grilled food and a pint.
This beautiful forest and nature reserve is a peaceful place for a walk in the woods. The area is home to deer, boar, and assorted other woodland creatures. The former are the main draw for our children. One was so pushy when he caught a whiff of my cheese and onion sandwich that I thought he was going to mug me for it.
The footpaths are well signposted and there are a few picnic spots and play areas dotted around.
As the weather gets colder, our thoughts also start turning towards decent indoor options for when we just want to get the kids out of the house for a bit.
Has become a useful standby for us as it’s dead central, open all the time, has a kids’ play area, and they serve ice cream by the scoop. Situated on Jakubské náměst, it’s always packed. The play area itself has a few obstacle course-style activities inside and a slide, but it’s lost some of its appeal since they took away the ball pool. In truth, Gracie has probably outgrown it, but whenever we go there she dutifully goes through the motions – because she knows there’s an ice cream waiting at the end for her.
This winter I want to reacquaint myself with Mezi Stromy, a tea room and kids’ cafe situated off an old monastery courtyard on Josefka. It has plenty of toys and a ball pool to keep the children occupied for an hour or so, and has the unusual distinction of having a remarkably tranquil atmosphere, even if there’s fifteen toddlers running about. I’ve even seen people in there without children doing work on their laptops while babies are throwing toys around just through the archway – the place is just that chilled. They have a good selection of teas and coffees, a few bites to eat, and they’ll let you bring in a glass of wine from the Vinarna next door if you like.
Stay tuned – in the next article I’ll look at some festive activities for families in Brno!
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